To Be Frank Elsternwick
To Be Frank is a neighbourly bakery that will quickly become your favourite. Co-owners and life partners Lauren Parsons and Franco Villalva opened its first outpost in Collingwood in 2019. It quickly became known for its play on facturas, an Argentinian pastry from Villalva’s childhood, as well as slow-fermented breads and laminated pastries.
At the Elsternwick spot, you’ll find treats known and loved by fans of the original location alongside a range of focaccias and south-side-only specials. The real hero is the focaccia: there are three to four loaded options available each day. It might be prosciutto, fior di latte, rocket and balsamic one day, or pear, walnut and gorgonzola another. We also like the sound of a three cheese, garlic and herbs number.
There are also special sweet pastries, including a crowd-favourite hazelnut babka. A lemon-passion danish is loaded with lemon-passionfruit curd, ginger crumble and tarragon-white-chocolate ganache. Plus, breads that you can take home including rye, wholemeal and focaccia.
While the compact Collingwood location is tucked away behind Johnson and Smith streets, this store is much bigger and not quite as hidden. It has huge glass windows, allowing passers-by to spot pastry chefs as they work in the kitchen. And the park across the road makes for a great spot to enjoy a coffee and focaccia.
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